State Watch

Missouri pulls LGBT history exhibit from Capitol after complaints

An exhibit documenting the history of LGBT rights was removed from Missouri’s state Capitol after officials received complaints about it, The Kansas City Star reported.

Missouri state Sen. Greg Razer (D), who is openly gay, tweeted on Thursday that the exhibit had been in the Missouri State Museum for just four days before it was removed.

“Here is the display that was too controversial for the Missouri Capitol. @mostateparks removed it after only four days because seeing the LGBT community not being persecuted and seeking equal treatment under the law is offensive to some. #moleg,” Razer tweeted.

Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources announced Friday evening that the exhibit had been moved to a building adjacent to the state Capitol and would be available for the public to view starting on Saturday.

Kelli Jones, communications director for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R), told The Hill that the governor had not initially been aware that the museum was displaying the LGBT exhibit.

“Governor Parson’s office became aware of the display after receiving several complaints regarding the display. The Department of Natural Resources manages the Museum and state statute requires the Department to coordinate activities relating to the Museum with the Board of Public Buildings. The statutorily mandated process was not followed in this instance, thereby, causing the Department of Natural Resources to remove the display,” Jones said in a statement.

Connie Patterson, director of communications for Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources, confirmed to The Hill that the exhibit had been removed, acknowledging that the department had failed to follow a state statute that says the agency has to “coordinate its activities relating to the museum with those of the board of public buildings.”

Razer said in a tweet that the agency caved to political pressure.

“.@mostateparks, one of the most trusted and beloved state agencies, felt it was easier for them to bend to bigotry than it was for them to have a backbone for a marginalized group of people. It’s really that simple,” Razer tweeted on Friday.

Uriah Stark, a legislative assistant to state Rep. Mitch Boggs (R), criticized the exhibit in a Facebook post Tuesday, saying, “So is there any good reason that our taxpayer funded museum is pushing the LGBT agenda in our state capitol? These are literally in-your-face banners that you can’t walk through the museum without seeing… and they’re scheduled to be there through December.”

On Wednesday, Stark wrote on Facebook that the the exhibit had been removed, crediting two lawmakers for their help.

The Hill has reached out to Stark for comment.

Updated: Sept. 4, 2021, 11:03 a.m.

Tags LGBT exhibit Missouri state Capitol

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